tv [untitled] November 11, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST
serious questions that have not been answered as to what's going to go forward in this initiation. i'm not sure where supervisor jane kim stands on some of this. my understanding is some of the questions that i've raised are in her office. is it going to be part of it going forward or not? but i think there are still some serious questions, you know, for instance, how does it integrate with the central subway corridor? where is the boundary between the two? there's an enormous investment going into the central subway corridor that perhaps the western soma plan is not as eager to look at in terms of the height and density and development that is going to go with it. these are big questions we had going forward. we'd love to see them explored. thank you. >> is there any additional public comment? seeing none, the public comment portion is closed. commissioner sugaya. >> yes. i guess the western soma plan takes precedent over anything
in the central corridor at the moment. this plan has been underway for years. central corridor has no public participation process quite like western soma, except for developers, i suppose. so, i think that's a fair way to approach it. we're going to adopt this first, central corridor can take its lumps when it comes along. i'm going to move adoption of the initiation for all of the items 13 a, b and c. >> second. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, i have a few questions and haven't had the opportunity to reach the detail of the plan. but mr. cohen mentioned these items concerning metering of affordable housing and metering of jobs. is there anything in the plan that, you know, blocks the possibility of housing unless there's high percentages of affordable housing built as part of them or i think we should be aware of these things
before we approve something. >> [speaker not understood] staff. the plan does have a policy that basically states that there should be an established policy to help balance affordable housing and jobs in the plan area. it did not go into specific details, the exact mechanisms of how that would happen. the task force did work on drafting a more detailed policy and outlining what those mechanisms could be and that's where the metering phrase comes from. as we talked about last week, that specific element, what is considered the community stabilization policy, even though it is a policy in the plan, nothing in the planning code changes or the zoning map amendments address that at this time. that's going to be a topic that addressed trailing as a separate process along with a couple other issues including the social heritage districts
and design standards. >> we discussed that at length last week and all of that sounded pretty good. but this would be trailing legislation, but it would not -- approval of the initiation and approval of these items wouldn't necessarily predetermine what that trailing legislation would have to be. >> correct. the policy that's in the plan is -- basically states that a policy should be created to try to balance [speaker not understood] balance affordable housing and jobs to keep kind of traditional balance looking at how they balanced historically in soma. but there is no mechanism being put forward as part of this initiation or part of the materials that are proposed for adoption that would actually carry that policy forward. so, that whole discussion and issue would take place as part of trailing legislation. >> so, the inclusionary requirements and other thing are similar, except maybe a couple of designated areas there might be -- >> it's going to be exactly the
same as it is now. >> yeah, okay. and then finally there was something raised about the central. there is an overlap of jurisdiction in that area. just we'll need to know exactly how that's going to be handled a little bit about if there is a difference in the two plans, what would have priority and how it would work. >> sure. >> a street, and there is a small section there. >> right, there is an area of overlap. showed briefly last week and we can definitely talk about that again. it's been our position that western soma, we have been working on that for sometime. and at this point we are moving forward with western soma as it is proposed and central corridor is going through its process and it will run its course in its own time. >> okay, thank you. >> commissioners, there's a
motion to initiate amendments to the general plan, planning code and zoning maps. i'll take a single roll call vote for all three resolutions. commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? absent. commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners. that passes unanimously +6 to -0. and places you on your last regularly calendar item, number 14, case no. 2012.0971c at 1963 sutter street, request for conditional use authorization. >> good afternoon, president fong and members of the planning commission. sharon young, planning department staff. the item before you is request for conditional use authorization for an outdoor activity area to an existing restaurant located at 1963 sutter street within the nc-3 district, japantown special use
district and 50-x height and bulk district. the proposal is to add outdoor area, dining table and chairs for approximately 08 square foot patio enclosed by [speaker not understood] high fence within the rear yard of the restaurant. the proposed outdoor dining area will abut common parking lot located within the mid-block area of the subject block. the restaurant has been in operation since december 2011. the current hours of operation of the restaurant are 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 7 days a week. in the original proposal that was the application. the proposed hours of operation was the dining outdoor patio 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 7 days a week. the proposal would not involve interior [speaker not understood]. to date the department has received three letters from neighbors, some petition approximately 55 signatures from residents in opposition to the project.
the latest opposition expressed concern that the proposed restaurant seating in the rear patio would create noise problems, pest and rodent problems and will adversely impact the quality of life. the department has also received some letters from the property owner adjacent commercial tenants, from [speaker not understood] association, pacific heights resident association, western addition, neighborhood association, japantown neighborhood association and 66 signatures from restaurant patrons and residents in support of the project. project sponsors have indicated the restaurant received health inspection report scores in the upper 90s from the san francisco department of public health for cleanliness. and the neighborhood opposition also expressly concerns supervisor christina olague's office, [speaker not understood], japantown task force, cultural and community center of northern california, chinatown development community center regarding their concern
over the project. during the course of these concerns, the project sponsor has tried to work with the neighbors in opposition and basically have modified their proposal in regards to the hours of operation and also clarified that there would not be any recorded or live music they have indicated they would clean the patio nightly. [speaker not understood] also submitted a letter or e-mail in response this morning to these concerns and also tried to
contact the residents regarding clarification on the proposal. the department adam smallman recommendation is approve the conditions [speaker not understood]. they also include hours of operation of the outdoor activity area to 10:00 p.m. also reducing noise by prohibiting [speaker not understood], and not allowing music in the upper space and adding signage for patrons to dine quietly within the rear dining patio to respect residential neighbors. this concludes my presentation and i'm available to answer any questions. thank you. >> thank you. project sponsor.
good afternoon, commissioners. i'm jennifer butler, i'm the project sponsor along with my partner staci judd in the audience. i want to spend a few more minutes giving details on the project. the restaurant opened last year -- thank you -- in december as sharon has mentioned. it is family owned and operated by husband and wife team gerard darien and tracy green who are also in the audience. they have a focus on very high-quality whole some meals, sustainably grown products, focus on rotisserie chicken. so, the menu is appealing to
neighborhood folks for their day to day meals. and in addition to in-restaurant dining, customers from both within the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods can carry out their lunch and dinner time meals for their families. it is important to note here the establishment's primary focus is on food. beer and wine sales comprise only 10% of their revenue. the type of people who come to the restaurant are not usually lingering and drinking. it's really the in and out food oriented environment. and usually you'll find people enjoying a glass of beer or wine with their meal and having conversation with reasonable level of sound. the restaurant provides a significant number of jobs to the area employing 16 employees both come from within the immediate neighborhood and other san francisco neighborhoods. basically, the 300 foot radius use map -- and i apologize it's quite a bit lighter than on my slide, but i think you have that in your information packet. you can see that within the
300-foot radius there is quite a mixture of residential, commercial, especially along the north south access, fillmore street, and then going east -- going sutter street, the boxes that are in dark blue indicate other eating and dining establishments within the 300-foot radius. and so, there's quite a precedent in the neighborhood for eating and dining establishments as well as their little starred areas within the radius one, two, three, four different eating and dining establishments that do allow outdoor dining. so, o there is a precedent for that as well. the gray areas, which again, sorry you'll have to refer to your information packet because it's a bit [speaker not understood] * in the presentation projection. but there are some large gray areas on the 300-foot radius map which indicates open space, either parking lots or green areas. so, you can see that we're pretty fortunate to have a vast
open area as a buffer zone surrounding those patios. tracy and gerard selected this area because of the talent and diversity of the neighborhood district and also the location of the beautiful victorian building you'll see in a moev, part of the 1976 san francisco architectural survey. the owners have worked very hard to preserve the character and protect the longevity of this building by making substantial interior tenant improvements through the addition of exterior signage, designing, planting which enhances the appearance and in harmony with the building exterior. here you see the restaurant plan. one of the biggest reasons the owners selected this space was for the possibility of outdoor dining on this small yet sunny and pleasant outdoor area. the new revised interior floor
plan, the restaurant held was taken over last year from a restaurant that was in place for 20 years. and it was a complete gut and remodel and reconfiguration of the space. and the new interior floor plan was designed in such a way to draw the lights through the space from interior to out. so, the middle service areas are low and as you walk through the door of the space, you can see all the way through into the back inviting customers to the lovely back patio area at the rear. as we all know there are very few restaurants in san francisco where we can dine al fresco and customers seek out such establishments. it will be an advantage that will allow their nash entitle business, a, to stabilize, and b, to grow * nascent * and continue viable into the future. many neighborhood residents and patrons express this would be a very desirable amenity. the very high majority of customers come into the restaurant and ask tracy and
gerard if they can sit outside. unfortunately so far they have not been able to allow it. so, i understood i had 15 minutes. is that the timer here? >> keep going. okay, thank you. so, we do feel quite strongly that the restaurant patio is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and community. and this has been substantiated by the planning department's preliminary recommendation. these public front facade photos show the architectural character of the building and you can see how the restaurants have -- restaurant owners have taken care to preserve the character and enhance the quality of the outdoor space. this is a view on the inside looking back towards the rear of the restaurant, towards the patio. here you're on the interior looking the opposite direction towards the front of the
restaurant towards the entry at sutter street. then here you can see a very typical evening dining experience. here's the inside dining area at the rear looking out towards the back patio in question. and here we are on the back patio looking towards the east. it's quite notable that the owners have allowed foliage and vinage to grow along this portion of the patio to, a, increase privacy and absorb noise for the neighbor towards the east who has been the primary neighbor expressing concern throughout this process. the new fences along the south and west side which is what you see on the right-hand side of the photo, this was initially designed and built with outdoor seating in mind. so, we selected a height of 6 foot 6 to be above the height of any standing patron to allow for privacy while still allowing natural light to come over the top of the fence into the patio.
the east side that you're looking at there, the foliage is actually the original fence. it's about 10 inches lower than the rest of the fence around the patio, but with the foliage it stands up about as tall as the rest of the fences you can see there. there's been some conversation about raising the fence height but we feel pretty strongly raising this won't add any more privacy or prevent noise from going outside of the patio. instead, we are suggesting that as a better noise mitigation option, that we install umbrellas over the patios, large umbrellas. this will be much more effective, we think, for containing noise from conversation than raising the fence height. and the other reason we are suggesting umbrellas, not raising the fence, because the patio is so small. it's only eight-foot deep. but the large umbrellas standing on the ground if we're raising the patio we're going
to have conflicts with the umbrellas and the fence. so, really encouraging you to consider that we install umbrellas as a way to contain the noise. the last point about that is that the landlord also is more in favor of umbrellas over any kind of raising of the fence. this is a view the opposite side looking towards the west. this picture was taken a couple months ago. the foliage you saw in the left side of the photograph is continuing to grow along -- on the left side is the south edge of the fence. so, it's continuing to grow along there to beautify and add [inaudible] noise absorption. here's an aerial view looking towards sutter street. and i think this really says a lot. the building in question is an a-shaped building on the right hand portion of it is the red rectangle where we have the restaurant. and then there is a dashed red
line showing the actual patio itself. you can see there is a large common parking lot, which is tree lined in the southern border, this is to the south of the patio. abutting the open parking lot is yet another quite large open parking lot and open space which is a part of the golden gate apartments. there are three buildings and 10 to the east and the south. the large tan colored buildings comprise the golden gate apartments where a majority of the residents who have expressed concerns and opposition on the petition dated september 21st live. most of these units are quite a long ways away from the actual patio which you'll see on the next slide. third thing i want to point out is there are quite a lot of trees and ground cover, shrubbery lining in front of the golden gate building. and also between the two parking lots that are abutting.
so, this view -- and i apologize, the slide seems to have gotten switched a bit. it's circled showing a radius of 1100 feet, close tore to the patio of the neighboring building. * 100 feet block 684 fall outside the 600-foot radius. the green circles provide visual and audio buffering. the northwest corner of the block, that would be lot 40, 41, 27 39, the western wing of the restaurant, the subject property building actually blocks sound and visually the view between the patio and those buildings. so, of the three golden gate
apartments buildings, buildings 2 and 3 are well outside the 100-foot radius ring. most residents who live here are quite further than 150 feet. these residents, it is important to point out, also the block it is an nc-3 zoning area. so, there is quite a bit of noise on fillmore, really all those streets. fillmore street, post, webster and sutter due to buses, cars, pedestrian traffic and we feel that, you know, with the fence, with the umbrellas, with the small size of the patio, the overwhelming majority of the residents who live on this block won't even know there are people dining here. this is a panorama looking north toward the back patio. you can see what you have of the subject building in the center. the patio is on the right-hand side. : the photograph was taken at about 36 feet from the back patio. there is another 114 feet
between where the photographer is standing and the building, the next building behind it. * so, we're looking at a lot of space here. this is kind of the reverse view where the photographer is standing outside of the back patio and then looking south ward, panning towards the east to the west. so, building 2 of the golden gate apartments is shown on the left way in the distance. the dimensions of that building are between 95 feet and 310 feet. so, each unit falls within that range of distance from the patio. building 3 at the south, their units are between 150 feet and 250 feet from the patio. and then looking to the right towards the west, the closest point to the building on lot 37 is 85 feet. as you go north , the distance gets -- increases. i wanted to address a few quick points about the petition that was circulated in opposition to
the project. * i think sharon has already clarified that that was circulated before we had this conversation and reduced the hours down to 10:00 p.m. so, we're asking for 10:00 p.m. 7 days a week. also originally communicated that music will be provided on the patio. we clarified that and said there would be no music or amplified sound of any kind. and also we did some pretty detailed analysis of each of the signs and where the units are in the golden gate apartments and where they actually live. there is one person who signed up outside the 300-foot radius, 22 people outside the 150-foot radius, 24 outside the 100-foot radius and five within 100 feet of the patio. so, just a couple more slides. this one talks about the outreach that we've done. we did have a pre-application meeting.
we invited 250 -- 215 invite es including all the residents. beyond what is required for the abutting properties. we had four attendees. three of these were close, one and two doors down neighbors and there was one representative of those neighbors. we had quite a bit of meetings. i won't list these out, but pacific heights residents, association, i think sharon listed those earlier. we did have another meeting with ms. yamada the abutting neighbor to the east and the opposition to clarify where we stood with the conditions. and we sent an outreach letter to all the people who signed the petition, clarifying where we stood. so, i think that sharon has pretty much touched on all of these, so, i won't repeat
anything here, but basically tracy and gerard are committed to, you know, keeping the neighbors happy and they're going to train the employees well so that they [inaudible]. >> i think your time is close to up. okay. i'll finish by saying this is [speaker not understood] because its was raised regarding pests and vermin. they had three inspections -- >> i think your time is really up now. if we have any questions, we'll be sure to ask, especially about pests and vermim. i'm opening it up for public comment. i have one speaker card, marianne hoyt, yeah.
good afternoon, commissioners. my name is marianne hory. my family has lived in golden gate apartments for about 30 years. golden gate apartment is an affordable housing complex owned by chinatown community development center. i'm here to ask the planning commission to decline the request by rooster tail restaurant at 1963 sutter street to add an outdoor activity area for 18 restaurant patron use which is open every day from 11:30 a.m. in the morning until 10:00 p.m. at night in the japantown special use district. the outdoor area faces approximately 60 bedrooms in the interior courtyard area and currently there is no written provision for an acoustic mechanism to contain the noise from the restaurant. the outdoor patio is simply surrounded by a six-foot six-inch fence. the trees and shrubbery do not
mitigate surrounding neighborhood noise. thank you very much for your consideration in this quality of life matter. >> thank you. i'm going to interrupt public comment just for a second. commissioner wu. >> although i serve on this commission as an individual town cdc is my employer and, so, i think for public transparency, to avoid any sense of conflict, i will recuse myself from the item. ask to be recused. >> so moved. >> second. >> on that motion to recuse, commissioner wu, commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> aye. he commissioner hillis? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> commissioner wu, you are here by recused. >> okay, continuing on with
public comment, i think, jonas, there is one on the rail there. if there is any other public comment, if you would like to come up. all right. nichiko yamada. good afternoon, commissioners. my name is nichiko yamada and i live at 1959 sutter street adjacent to rooster tail restaurant. i grew up in the western addition jay town area and my parents owned a small japanese confectionery store in this neighborhood for 36 years. my parents believed that they were able to be in business for so long because of the good will and support of this neighborhood and community. i am proud of their achievement.
our neighborhood is a diverse neighborhood with a culturally rich history. people here are friendly, supportive and welcoming of businesses. many are long-term residents who have lived here for 20, 30 years. in times of need such as during the 1989 earthquake or during heavy storms, the neighbors came together to help one another. we are fortunate to be a member of this community where residents are committed to creating a safe, thriving and respectful environment. when rooster tail restaurant informed us that they were proposing to expand and have an outdoor dining room patio, we became very concerned. since there were noise and pre-existing pests and rodent issues in the area. residents had valid concerns about noise, sanitation, and cleanliness. our four-block area is